It's happening, the chocolate is being made!
It all seems like a dream, the cacao we all have been awaiting for so long from Chiapas is now firmly in our hands in Hawaii, and we're turning it 1 burlap bag full at a time into delicious chocolate bars that will be heading your way very soon. The first time we roast and grind a new cacao, we have to try out different styles, temperatures, timing, and ratios to coax out the most taste from each of the beans. This Mexican criollo cacao was no exception as we hadn't worked with these beans in over a year, but after careful roasting & grinding we were starting to get a beautiful deep fruity & chocolatey taste off this cacao that really made it shine and make us all in the shop want to keep trying more!
But we knew we had to leave enough of this chocolate to temper and turn into bars for all of you, and the first of these bars rolled out of the tempering machine just in the past few days to our and I'm sure your delight! We say this as if it all happened passively and the chocolate bars made themselves in some wonderful food-based Fantasia version of a chocolate factory as we know the process quite well now through which each bean must go through. But in fact there's been tons of hard work in terms of Isidro the cacao farmer in Xoconusco, everyone at the CASFA coop who got the cacao shipped to us, Dave who slogged through all the customs and FDA forms and figured out the perfect roasting curves for the cacao, Matt who roasted & winnowed the cacao to perfection, Joelle & Sam who got it all grinding with the proper mix, Kristen who tempered the bars, Miki who wrapped the bars and will start shipping them to you next week, and of course, the most important people to getting all this chocolate made is you who funded it all with all your intense chocophilia! So here are a few tantalizing pictures of the chocolate being roast, ground, & tempered into bars that will soon be on their way to you.
Again, if anything has changed with your address, please let us know at info aht madrechocolate punto com.
Xoconusco cacao being sorted and awaiting its test roast to find the perfect temperature curve
65 lbs of Chiapas cacao being ground to a beautiful silky smoothness in our stone grinder. Notice the light color of the 70% chocolate since many of the seeds in this heirloom criollo variety cacao are white instead of the standard deep purple or brown.
The first mid-grind chocolate tablets we made of the Xoconusco chocolate to see how they tasted after tempering (a heating & cooling process that gives chocolate it's shine, snap, and higher melting point)
The first full set of 150 Chiapas single origin bars awaiting hand foil wrapping & labeling, next stop a box to go in the mail to you!
Now that we've got enough of the Xoconusco 70% bars for all of you, next we'll start making the traditional flavored chocolate bars with jaguar cacao, orijuelas, plumeria (flor de mayo), and jocote. We've already made a few test jaguar cacao/patashte bars to check the texture a perfect blend of the chocolate and its sister species patashte. We're glad that you get to taste all this delicious experimentation. We look forward to hearing your comments on the final chocolate!